Although HIV cannot be cured, highly effective treatments are available that allow most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.
In the event of possible exposure to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medicine may prevent infection. PEP should be initiated within 72 hours of contact with the virus, and is only recommended in cases of higher-risk exposure, especially where the sexual partner is known to be HIV-positive. PEP involves taking HIV medication daily for a month and may have side effects. PEP can be obtained from sexual health clinics, genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, hospitals, or HIV clinics.
If diagnosed with HIV, regular blood tests will be done to monitor the progression of the infection before starting treatment. Two important blood tests are the HIV viral load test, which measures the amount of HIV virus in the blood, and the CD4 lymphocyte cell count, which measures how the HIV has affected the immune system. Treatment can begin at any time following diagnosis, based on consultation with an HIV doctor.
Antiretroviral medicines are used to treat HIV by preventing the virus from replicating in the body. A combination of drugs is used because HIV can quickly adapt and become resistant. Some HIV treatments have been combined into a single pill, known as a fixed dose combination. People with newly diagnosed HIV typically take between one and four pills per day, and different combinations of medicines are tailored to each person. The effectiveness of treatment is measured by the amount of HIV virus in the blood, which should become undetectable within six months of starting treatment. However, many of the drugs used to treat HIV can interact with other medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any other medicines
Please note: The above article is just an opinion. Always seek advice of a medical practitioner.